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BABY showers

BABY showers ENTERTAINING

Reader Q: Can you recommend better napkins for a posh baby shower party in green?

Expectant Mother by Doc Milo

A reader, Carrie, asked for my advice to choose the best napkins to go with the invitation card called Expectant Mother by Doc Milo. She will like that green be the focal décor color of the baby shower party.

I know Expectant Mother by Doc Milo is a popular invite so I agree to do this because there is a good chance others wonder about that issue.

In fact, lots of people have a hard time to mix and match colors, patterns and shapes. And there is a good reason for that: this is a hard thing to do.

We learn in design school a large set of rules that guide us in making our selection. Unfortunately, we also learned that it is not only pure science; art plays a role in making wonderful compositions. Designers rely on their trained sense of style and years of experience to create a fabulous look.

My idea with this post is to share my savoir-faire with you. I will explain in simple terms how to and why I selected these 3 napkins as companions to the green Expectant Mother card.

I started by examining the color palette of the card. I put my emphasis on the focal point of the card, which is the expectant woman. What the expectant mother is wearing provides the best clues. I made the conscious decision to eliminate black and white. My color palette reads this way: lime green and hot pink are the dominant colors with orange and light blue acting as secondary colors.

As a coincidence, yesterday on housemartin blog, the editor talked about a free color palette generator tool. So if you have a hard time uncovering the color palette, this tool can guide you in the right direction.

Carrie was thinking to buy the invites at Polka Dot Design‘s online store. So I browsed their napkin inventory. I began searching for square napkins that display a modern, stylish look with some kind of diagonal motif. The emotions and the shape come from the invite. I only considered napkins that match my color palette. It is OK if the napkins introduced additional colors as long as the invite color palette is well represented. My three choices all work with the invite because my choices were guided by three simple rules: the color palette, the mood and the diagonal line.

Depending on the party theme, the menu you are planning, your dinnerware and the personality of the guest of honor, one motif will standout for you. Think about all these factors to design a cohesive baby shower party look. Use the same principles to select the table ware and other party accessories.

I hope this post will help Carrie and readers like her that want to improve their mixing and matching skills. Happy baby shower!

Link: Expectant Mother by Doc Milo invite at Polka Dot Design
Link: Striped Luncheon Napkins by Inviting Company at polkadotdesign.com
Link: Showers Luncheon Napkins by Caspari at polkadotdesign.com
Link: Pink and Green Tassels Luncheon Napkins by Caspari at polkadotdesign.com
Link: color generator on housemartin blog

BABY showers ENTERTAINING

Men-only Baby shower + Father’s Day Gift Idea: Dad Diaper Bags

Dude Shoulder Diaper Bag

The newest trends towards men-only baby shower party and the even more popular parent baby shower party has contributed to the popularity of the dad diaper bag in the wish list.

Modern dads take care of their babies. But& men do not want to be seen with a female design diaper bag. So why not give a truly masculine diaper bag to the father to be.

I came across these dad diaper bags that are on sale. Available in camouflage or black color, this stylish shoulder diaper bag comes with a super comfy strap that goes across the chest with a padded back for extra comfort.

A padded changing pad, two handy clips for keys and a cell phone holder adds practicality to this bag. The Dude Shoulder Diaper Bag is currently on sale at wrapables.com for $39.95, a $20 savings.

A Brand from Two Dads

If you are looking for something even better, then check out the DadGear product lines. DadGear is born out of the mind of two dads to be who realized that the diaper bag market felt short of father expectations.

DadGear worked hard to ensure that their products don’t look like diaper bags because this is not what men want. Their collection looks like normal backpacks, messenger bags and sport bags on the inside. The difference is in the inside. The bag interior is cleverly made for carrying around all the baby gear with lots of easy access features.

DadGear messenger diaper bags

I found a video on dadlabs.com that let’s you experience the fantastic features of DadGear messenger bags. Take a look; you will see what is so great about these man diaper bags. The Billboard messenger bag series is eco-friendly too. Recycled highway billboards become the bag material so each one is unique.

Women looking for the DadGear clever design diaper bags can find a female line at DaisyGear.com; so we do not have to be jealous. The line is more of hard core styles than on the pretty side. When you are wearing cool jeans or going to meet your snowboard buddies, these are the kind of diaper bags, a mother should bring.

Going back to the Father’s Day gift ideas, the most innovative products are certainly the DadGear Diaper Vest and the Cargo Jacket. Take all of the functionality of their diaper bags and incorporate them into a stylish fleece piece of clothing and these are what you get. The Vest and Cargo Jacket are perfect for the short trip and for older babies.

I am just starting the gifts section on my blog. I will give you more gifts ideas for the celebrated person, the hostess and the party favors. So come back to see what I dig up.

Link: Dude Shoulder Diaper Bag at wrapables.com
Link: Store listing for the DadGear collection – click on International for Canadian listing
Link: Video on the Billboard messenger diaper bag on dadlabs.com
Link: Web site of DaisyGear – the female side of DadGear

BABY showers ENTERTAINING

Thinking outside the box for a Baby shower invitation

I got inspired by the creativity of a gorgeous baby shower invitation this afternoon. So I decide to talk about invitation choices and how invitation cards can make or break your party.

Custom letterpress baby book by Egg Press

I said it before; printed invitations grab more attention than an email or a phone invitation to a party. Except for wedding and milestone wedding anniversary where printed invitations are customary, sending a printed invitation tells right away that your event will be something extraordinary. You create hype which usually increases the attendance.

Letterpress and calligraphy create stunning design cards with a personal touch. Lots of small card companies have emerged in the last couples of years to suit a wide range of tastes. The printing techniques make their charms.

Custom letterpress cards and calligraphy are expensive because it is a labor intensive job. Egg Press offers custom letterpress baby book at retail locations around the USA. The Kangaroo card is from Egg Press.

You save even more by going with a card in a collection instead of exclusive design. With personalized printed cards, you select a model from a collection for which you add your personalized text.

Haute Note New Addition - Bear card

Digital printed cards and notes are a popular option because of the price. A high-end look can be achieved when you match it with a better-quality colorful envelop.

Girl Metro, a Chicago-based design studio, sells their cute models in 3 printing options: digital, offset and letterpress. You can get letterpress baby notes with return address printed envelops for as low as $2.10 USD a set, while digital costs $1.25 a set if you buy at least 200 cards.

Vancouver-based social stationary brand Haute-Note lets you buy its signature 3.25×8.25 inches personalized cards in set of 8 cards (9 envelops) for $24 CAD. The whole personalization process can be done online and Haute-Note will ship you the cards.

Stationary stores also sell numerous fill in invitation cards. These are good alternative if your budget is more limited or if you are in a hurry.

But what do you do if you want something more special?

One way to impress is to send the invitations attached to an object or in a box. I will give you two examples.

If you host a party with an Asian theme, you can write the invite on a rice paper, roll it up and attach it to a set of wooden chopsticks with a raffia ribbon. You can wrap everything with paper or clear cellophane. Or you can put everything in the box that came with the chopsticks, if any. Specialty stationery stores are your best bet to find nice envelops. Bring your chopsticks with you to see if they fit in.

Baby shower invitations by Oh Happy Day

Going back to this great baby shower invitation that inspired me to write this post. Jordan, an event planner from San Francisco made it. She posted it on her blog Oh Happy Day. This Baby shower invitation is so cute and it makes a statement.

Set like a present in a box, the printed card lay on bright yellow Lemonheads. A personalized sticker with the name of the invitee on top and a poem on the back close the box with style. Personally, I would have added a piece of light cellophane between the lemonheads and the card. This is not a cheap project but I think it worth every penny. Good work Jordan!

The final budget question is the delivery cost. To save on shipping costs, you can hand deliver the invitations. You can ask the help of a friend or two that live nearby the delivery zone. Otherwise, plan ahead how much it will cost to ship everything.

Look at the mail service requirements since both Canada Post and USPS have their own rules regarding the maximum depth for envelop. If it is too deep, it will be considered as a package. The bad news is that a package multiplies by 6 or more the shipping fees versus a letter.

There are many rules concerning minimum and maximum lengths, widths and weights. The best thing is to bring a completed sample whenever possible. One of my friends discovered last year for her wedding that her response envelops was too small. She had to pay $1.05 instead of the regular 51 cents for the stamps.

None standing all these, having an atypical invite create a Wow factor that make a lasting impression. If you can squeeze extra money on your party budget, go for it. Otherwise, rest assured that they are lots of affordable options on the market. But be certain to use your imagination to make it a little bit more fascinating.

Link: Custom letterpress printing at Egg Press – the Kangaroo card
Link: Girl Metro Baby announcement card collection
Link: Haute Note Baby New Addition collection – the Bear card
Via: Baby Shower Invitations on Oh Happy Day blog – the last picture is her design